The Kalita Wave coffee brewing system is a preferred brewer amongst coffee bars around the world. In fact, this brewer has been used in professional coffee-making competitions, and coffee-lovers around the globe love it for its simplicity – simply pour hot water over ground coffee, and you have the ultimate coffee treat.
It can be challenging to find a pour-over coffee dripper that results in a high-quality brew. And though the Kalita Wave might look like any other dripper, it’s far more than that.
The Kalita Wave was designed to balance the flow of water, and also to keep your brew warm by serving as an insulator.
The design of the unit provides a slightly more concentrated cup of coffee than other drippers, which is a winner for those who like a stronger cup of joe.
Brief History of Pour Over Coffee
If you are a coffee enthusiast, the concept of pour-over coffee is likely not new to you. Pour-over coffee has been a ‘thing’ for decades. But the tradition all started with a woman by the name of Amalie Auguste Melitta Bentz.
Amalie was unsatisfied with the taste of coffee that she was getting from her percolator. And as such, she decided to start experimenting with different ways to brew.
As the story is told, Amalie experimented with some blotting paper that belonged to her son, and a brass pot that had been punctured with a nail. She loved the outcome so much that she decided to introduce her new pour-over technique to the public. The rest is history.
How to Brew Coffee with a Kalita Wave
So how exactly does that Kalita Wave work and provide that perfect end result?
Rinse the Coffee filter
Start by rinsing the filter by pouring boiling water directly into the middle of the filter. Avoid pouring the water on the sides as this can jeopardize the wave-shape of the filter. The purpose of this step is to remove any paper taste from the filter and to preheat the Kalita.
Prepare Your Ingredients
Measure out on a scale slightly more than 27 grams of coffee to grind. Fill the kettle and heat the water. Remember that one or two grams is often lost in the grinder.
Grind your coffee
Your goal is to ensure that the particle size after grinding is finer than sea salt. Once your coffee is ground, pour 25 grams of ground coffee into the Kalita, which is sitting on your kitchen (tare) scale. Tap the Kalita gently to ensure that the coffee bed is as flat as possible, which will help to even out the water distribution during the pouring process.
After the boiling is complete, remove the kettle and allow the water to settle. Start a timer and pour in just enough water so that the coffee bed is saturated. Allow the water to expand through the coffee grounds for about 30 seconds. Note that to find the right amount of water for the expansion, you should double the amount of coffee grounds.
Be sure to pour the water in slow concentric circles so that the slurry (mixture of solids) raises to halfway up the side of the filter. Continue to add water in stages (often referred to as pulse brewing), allowing the crust to submerge as you go.
Allow the slurry to drop a bit before you add more water to return it to the same level. If possible, add all of the water before you hit the three-minute mark on your timer.
And once you have added 400 grams of water, you will want to give it a small stir and let it drain (if needed). If the coffee bed is flat after draining is completed, then you did it correctly. Your total brew team should be just under four minutes, depending on the type of coffee you used.
All you have to do now is remove the filter and served the coffee. And of course, enjoy it.
Coffee Kettle For A Kalita Wave
If you are new to the pour-over coffee method, you might think that all water kettles are the same. But this is simply not the case. The best pour-over kettles are what are known as gooseneck kettles. These kettles look just like the sound – it has a long neck that resembles a goose.
The fact is that when it comes to mastering the art of a pour-over coffee, you must achieve even extraction. When the water is extracted properly and evenly, you will receive a better flavor and a savory aroma. With a gooseneck kettle, you can control the amount of hot water that pours over your coffee grounds to obtain that ideal extraction.
So, when you look for a gooseneck kettle on places like Amazon, be sure to keep your eyes open for the following:
- Flow rate
- Material and design
- Extra features
One of the best extra features that many pour-over coffee connoisseurs appreciate is the variable temperature kettle feature. As it would imply, the variable temperature allows to you set the exact temperature that you want your water heated to.
And, though the ‘right’ temperature will vary based on your personal preference, most people prefer a temperature of 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit. When you can control the temperature of your coffee to your own personal tastes, your coffee will inevitably taste better. I used and would recommend the Bonavita Kettle. They currently go for around $50.00 on Amazon
Tips On Becoming A Kalita Coffee Expert
If the concept of pour-over coffee is intriguing to you, you may be interested in some quick tips so that you can walk the walk and talk the talk.
- The filter itself is important and when not rinsed properly, can negatively impact the flavor of your coffee. So, don’t skip the rinsing step.
- The freshness and the grind size of your coffee is important. For the best pour-over coffee, a grind just barely finer than sea salt is recommended.
- Don’t use water for your coffee that wouldn’t drink in just a plain glass. Clean and filtered water will make for a better pour-over coffee taste and experience.
- Your water to coffee ratio will be approximately 1:16.
- As mentioned before, most pour-over coffee enthusiasts prefer a water temperature of 195 – 205 degrees Fahrenheit, but this is really a matter of personal taste. So, be sure to experiment and determine the temperature that creates the flavor that is best for you.
- You can buy a Kalita Wave on Amazon for about $24.00 currently